Historically, when our country was in crisis, the president would sit calmly before a TV camera in the Oval Office and speak directly to the nation — one-on-one, so to speak. His tone would be reassuring, presenting a picture of the situation and calling for all citizens to pull together through troublesome times. Think Ronald Reagan or FDR.

Fast forward to today: Our current president communicates through tweets and campaign-style rallies, delivered principally to fire up his base. His tone is pompous, and his “facts” are often proven to be false or at best inaccurate. He appears to care more for his personal image than the American people who look to him for leadership.

It is time again for our president to address the nation from the Oval Office — to look into that TV camera and convince us we are all headed in the right direction and there is nothing to fear. I am a patriotic American, and I am waiting, Mr. President.

Peter Whatley, Little Canada

‘THE NEXT BATTLEFIELD’

Plans for a space force are simply unnecessary; we’re covered

I am a former Air Force officer who then, as a physicist, spent 34 years in the aerospace industry developing new technology. Most of that time was spent working on Air Force space projects. The new threats mentioned by the administration (“Pence outlines Space Force plans,” Aug. 10) have long been recognized, and we developed counter-technology for it. Since those threats have never been imminent, they have never been moved to operational hardware, but the technology is there. I always found the Air Force forward-thinking and possessed of good planning.

The days of fleets of manned spacecraft roaming through space are at least a half century away. The Air Force can and should handle the job of building, deploying and operating the systems needed to counter the stated new (supposedly) threats. We do not need the expensive overhead of a new service. Let the Air Force Space Command do the job.

Don Stauffer, Coon Rapids

CARBON TAX

Do use taxes to fund social programs — the realistic way

I had not heard about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ idea of funding Medicare for All with income from a carbon tax, but I heartily agree with Megan McArdle (“As a funding mechanism, it’s a pot of fool’s gold,” Opinion Exchange, Aug. 7) that such a plan would be absolutely unworkable.

The best way to implement a much-needed price on carbon is through a national Carbon Fee and Dividend plan, as advocated by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and the Climate Leadership Council. Such a plan would rapidly decrease our carbon emissions while protecting both the economy and the underprivileged by returning the fees to all households as a dividend.

And universal health care needs to be financed the way most civilized nations do it, with higher taxes for all. Yes, all people who earn enough money to pay taxes would need to pay more. But in return, we would all have accessible health care, and we would all be invested in improving our health care system, by making it more efficient and outcome-based. Some taxes are worth paying.

Cathy Ruther, St. Paul

HENNEPIN COUNTY ATTORNEY

Freeman challenged in general election, but is still best choice

Contrary to some recent contentions that now is the time for a change in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (Readers Write, Aug. 4), I would argue that more than ever we need Mike Freeman’s experienced leadership.

While ably running one of the state’s largest law offices over 17 years, he has led reforms in better responding to victims of sexual, physical and emotional violence. He has worked with the Legislature to change sentencing for low-level drug crimes and to expand opportunities for treatment over jail time. He has been courageously decisive, insisting on transparency and keeping the public informed during sensitive cases.

Mike Freeman knows the law, the work of the County Attorney’s Office and the people of Minnesota. He continues to be the best choice for voters who want someone skilled and committed to justice for crime victims, protection for residents and moving us all toward a more just system.

Patrice Vick, St. Paul

WELLS FARGO

Ahem: Not getting better in the values-and-vision department

I appreciate the Star Tribune for keeping the public apprised of the inordinately numerous, ongoing mishaps that continue to occur at Wells Fargo Bank (“Wells Fargo settles suit alleging it ID’d victim,” Aug. 7).

This stuff just does not stop happening, does it? I had an account there at one time when it was good old Norwest Bank. Fool me once? Shame on me. It’s not like the above incident is a one-off. How many more chances are their customers going to give them? Seriously.

Marilyn Palmby, Minneapolis

URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Two ways to go about it, right and wrong, all in one week

Contrast: On Aug. 8 in the Business section, we got a picture of an absolutely stunning nine-story condo proposed for the Guthrie Liner Parcel (“More condos, apts., offices on Washington Av.”). Kudos to developer AECOM and its architects!

On Aug. 9, we get the regrettable news that developer Alatus will be allowed to plunge its proposed glass dagger into the heart of the St. Anthony Falls Historic District (“Court clears the way for 40-story Mpls. condo tower”).

I can’t wait to see the condo building portrayed in the Aug. 8 paper built. Such a lovely and unique design! Enough said.

Pam Kaufman, Minneapolis

PARKS AND MOUNTAIN BIKING

Not just about bees, but about a realistic balance of activities

I am not a resident of Minnetonka, but found Lone Lake Park in large part because of road construction on Hwy. 169 last year. I am saddened by the possibility of another beautiful peaceful park being forever changed for the worse by mountain biking (“Trail plan pits bikes against bees,” Aug. 6). You see, I’ve seen this before at Wirth Park in Minneapolis, where natural beauty and serenity was turned into a racetrack.

I felt a little helpless when the proposed changes happened at Wirth Park, since I’m not a resident of Minneapolis, either, but since I love nature I feel I need to speak up. Lone Lake Park is unique in that on one side it has a soccer field, tennis and basketball courts and, soon, pickleball courts, but by the lake there’s a beautiful and diverse nature area with hills and wetlands. I admired the balance that the park has — activities on one side, peaceful and scenic walking on the other. This balance would be destroyed by mountain-bike trails.

Sometimes people don’t understand what they’ve got until it’s gone, and these types of areas get rarer each day. It truly would be a tragedy if Lone Lake Park went the way of Wirth Park and forgot its reason for being.

Larry Miller, St. Louis Park